Choosing an IT support partner is an important decision. Whichever company you decide to work with will have access to your infrastructure, and all of your most valuable company data.
It’s important that they are not only trustworthy but that they will provide you with the service you need in order for your business to thrive.
There is no point in having an IT support partner who you can’t get hold of in a crisis!
IT downtime is expensive. In 2019 Apple had a store outage for 12 hours which ended up costing them $25 million. It’s estimated that on average, downtime costs $5,600 per minute. This is an average cost, of course for smaller businesses it won’t be so high and for larger businesses it could be more.
However, there is a cost per minute for any IT downtime, which means that for every minute your support partner isn’t answering the phone or working on the issue, you are losing money.
When choosing your support partner be sure to make responsiveness a criterion, and agree on an SLA for responsiveness so that everyone knows what is expected.
Strategy and maintenance
Your IT support partner should be there to fix any issues as they arise, however they should also be able to work with you on your infrastructure strategy.
Having a robust infrastructure strategy means that you have a roadmap detailing which technologies your company will utilize, and clear indicators for why they are the best choice for you.
Operating without a strategic view can mean that you are left with technology that is unfit for purpose, and costly to replace.
It’s worth seeking out IT support partners who have partnerships with leading IT providers.
For example, if you were to work with an IT support partner who is partnered with Microsoft you would benefit in a number of ways:
- Cheaper licensing.
- In-depth knowledge of Microsoft products, so you can get the best out of your software.
- Experience troubleshooting Microsoft products, and access to experts.
- Knowledge of Microsoft’s development roadmap, which helps to inform your decisions about whether a piece of software is best for you going forwards.
When choosing your IT support partner, be sure to reach out to your network for advice. Other businesses in your field will be able to tell you who they have worked with, and what went well, as well as what didn’t go so well.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to check customer review sites for IT support companies, as they will give you access to a larger number of reviews. They won’t have the detail of a personal recommendation, but they are a good way to get a feel for people’s overall experiences.
Where possible, it’s a good idea to work with an IT support partner who is local to your head office. This means that they can more easily provide on-site assistance if it’s needed, and there are occasions where it will be.
A lot of IT support is carried out remotely, but if something goes physically wrong with a piece of hardware or you need your IT support to provide training, working with them in person will add value.